Like any other part of your vehicle, your transmission suffers from wear and tear over time. Fortunately, there are a few signs that cautious drivers can watch out for that can help you identify problems before they become expensive repairs. Here are three signs of transmission trouble that every driver should know.

Rough Shifting

It is an immediate sign of a problem if you notice grinding or clunking when you attempt to change gears, or if your vehicle refuses to change gears at all. This rough shifting is caused when the clutch does not properly disengage from the flywheel, which means that it is still spinning along with the engine when you try to change gears.

While rough shifting and loud grinding can be scary when it happens unexpectedly, it doesn't necessarily signify the death of your transmission. In some cases, the problem can be remedied by replacing only the clutch rather than the entire transmission. However, rough shifting can also indicate more serious problems such as worn gear synchronizers.

Hesitation When Shifting

If your transmission is in good health, it should respond immediately as soon as you attempt to change gears. When your transmission hesitates when you shift gears, you will often notice that the engine revs up without the car picking up speed. This problem is also most often caused by a worn clutch, meaning you may avoid more expensive repairs if you have the clutch replaced shortly after noticing the problem.

Leaking Transmission Fluid

Leaking fluids are one of the easiest problems for the average driver to notice. Leaking transmission fluid is a clear sign of an issue, as your transmission is intended to function as a closed system. Even if you don't see a leak, low transmission fluid is a sign of a leak because your transmission does not consume fluid over time.

The condition of your leaking transmission fluid can also say a lot about the health of your transmission. If the fluid is still bright red and clear, a leak is likely the only problem and repair may be as simple as replacing the transmission pan gasket. If the fluid is dark or smells burnt, you will likely have to have a mechanic flush the fluid out of your transmission and inspect it for other damage.

Use these tips to keep your transmission running smoothly as long as possible and avoid costly repairs in the future. Contact a local mechanic, like Marathon -Sleepy Hollow, for more information.